Teenager and monks take on demon attacking ancient abbey

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2011, 12:00am

The Crowfield Demon
By Pat Walsh
Published by Chicken House
ISBN 978 1 906427 63 4

The Crowfield Demon is the follow-up to Pat Walsh's historical fantasy novel, The Crowfield Curse - one of the most thrilling Young Fiction debuts of 2010. Curse was shortlisted for both the prestigious Times Children's Fiction Competition and the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize in Britain.

This new novel takes the mysteries to a new and darker level. Walsh's earlier book took us to mid-14th-century England and Crowfield Abbey, an isolated community in a dark, forbidding forest. Demon takes us back to this confined locale.

Teenage orphan William is serving the few monks left at Crowfield Abbey. It's a hard life. Will's friends, a bushy-tailed ferret from the forest and a fay warrior who has decided to stay at the abbey after the death of his master, help the servant boy get through his days. After the events of Curse, things should have settled down - but a new evil is stirring within the walls of the abbey.

The monks know about the magical forces alive in the forest, and ancient magic and Christianity exist side by side. But suddenly the evil forces become restless, and a massive crack appears in the walls of the church. Other parts of the abbey begin to crumble.

William is given the job of lifting floor tiles from a side chapel to use in repairing the church. He unearths a strange box covered with mysterious symbols. But he doesn't realise that he has unleashed a demon that will wreak havoc on Crowfield and eventually target Will himself. Can the faith of the monks defeat the ancient demon that Will has unwittingly set free?

Walsh creates a wonderful setting with spooky Crowfield Abbey. But this is no historical novel. Demon is an eerie thriller that will make your hair stand on end.